08/24 Third Day: Magic Kingdom….or……How to get the most magic into just one day
Where should I start? For me, Magic Kingdom was by far the toughest park to plan.
Knowing that we’ll have only one park-day (for +40 attractions) made me headache for almost half a year. Normally everyone would recommend two lands within MK per day.
In my opinion, a pre-opening breakfast for BoG, is the key to success to see as much as possible in only one day. At least with us it was definitely the case.
But first of all, you have to get an ADR for that. 180 Days in advance is totally normal for that.
You know that, I learned that and I did get the ADR 180 days in advance for 08:20am. Score!!!
If you are ever able to get this ADR, it simplifies planning enormously.
One thing I had to learn, although I had been studying Disney for a year:
If you are not staying in a deluxe hotel, Magic Kingdom is far, far away.
I knew that, but I didn´t know, that you had to take the monorail or ferry to get there from the parking lot. And you should be at the turnstiles at 07:45 at the latest.
Fortunately, my wife was responsible for getting us all up, that we were “accidentally” early enough.
I think we needed a short hour from the resort to the turnstiles. But luckily it was really relaxed.
If you can handle this, you will be able to get some “empty park pictures” with ease.
Additionally you will be able to ride 7DMT (and/or Peter Pan) without waiting.
After we had gone through the turnslites, we went straight to the hub. There you can get the loving castle pictures; in our case with no stranger blocking the view. I was very, very happy for that.
I even was so happy, that I wanted to compare the pictures with some taken later that day
(with crowds in the background):
After this important point was finished, we went directly to BoG. In my hands I proudly held our golden note, which we received at the entrance. (Pre-opening Breakfast ADR “conformation”)
Be Our Guest Restaurant
I had convinced my wife to pre-order the food per MDE-App. At the entrance of BoG everything went smoothly. We were allowed to enter at 08:00am and a few minutes later, the food was on the table.
Only minor thing was, that I did not wish for a dining room and my DS4 was a little afraid in the dark & loud westwing The ambiente is of course top-notch and the food was good (for breakfast especially). We are very often in france and i can assure “authentic” french food looks a little different.
I think we were able to leave BoG at 08:40am without rushing at all. There was a short line to 7DMT and we had to wait for approx. 10 minutes and then were able to ride the second train that day.
Just perfect. No rush, no crowds, just pure fun!
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Great theming from a real classic, nice coaster, kids-friendly.
Not worth a 120min wait, but a really nice family attraction – everyone will enjoy for sure.
Peter Pan’s Flight
After the mine, we went straight to Peter Pan. Looking back, we could have driven 7DMT a second time, because PPF opens at 9 o’clock on time. We arrived there approx. 08:55am.
You will be able to ride it before the crowd hits, but it opens only directly after the welcome show.
We all liked the ride, but waiting longer than 25min would be a waste of touring time in my opinion.
The ride is lovely, but very, very short.
After we left PPF we saw a huge wave of crowds arriving at new fantasyland.
From that point on for the next hour, we were always ahead of the main-crowd.
Look, how empty the park still was behind 7DMT:
Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid
I liked this ride much more than PPF. I don´t know why; maybe because it is longer or because I like the movie better. But it is a must-do for me. Pure disney magic.
Meet Ariel in her Grotto
Still no crowd, so let´s see ariel without any wait.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Signiture ride of course and a must-see. You can’t go to magic kingdom without a flight on this loving character. I even thought it was much higher, than expected.
Mad Tea Party
Another classic signature ride. My wife gets dizzy easy, so I had to ride.
And yes, I also, had to stop my children, not to spin too fast
My DS4, as a coaster- newcomer really liked this (boring, slow, short) coaster.
He was able to ride it three times in a row.
Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station
Nice little playground, were you urgently need spare clothes for the kids.
My Son and I, had to run through it one time nevertheless.
A brief spontaneous (crowdless) meeting with merida. It was not planned at all.
The autogram book filled “slowly” but surely.
After that it was approx. 10:30am and we had already finished new fantasyland.
Perfect and even better as planned. I was really proud, that everything worked out THAT well.
Now the next fixed thing was our first FP+ for Space Mountain (DD & me) and Tomorrowland Speedway for DW & DS. So we headed for Tomorrowland.
The crowd were there already of course, so we had “no chance” to ride Buzz Lightyear like planned.
No problem, after we had first oriented, we went on the ride with the shortest waiting time.
What a stroke of luck; I love this ride. This one was one of the first attractions I planned to cut; fortunately it happens differently. This ride is perfect for relaxing a brief moment. It allows a good overview of tomorrowland and even sneak-peaks of the near attractions. Now I know why this ride is so popular, but is still considered a “secret tip” without crowds.
FP+ Space Mountain 12am
Cool dark coaster. I had high expectations and it nearly delivered. It was fun, it was dark, but it is real slow. But bad is different. In the case of the three mountains; for me the weakest.
After the ride, I have a great (maybe common) tip for everyone who bought the memory maker.
The two picture booth at the souvenir shop after the ride accept memory maker.
You do not have to buy or print pictures, but you get all three in your account “for free”.
FP+ Tomorrowland Speedway
My DS4 enjoyed it of course.
Nothing that special, but for my wife it was much better than waiting in front of space mountain.
She is really afraid of the dark .
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
I bet, that is one of the most underrated shows in WDW. I would go there every time for sure.
The show is funny and very well made. The interaction with the audience is divine and i´m sure it will be a totally different experience every time you go. Don´t miss it.
In our case every “choosen one” played their role perfectly.
That said, we were almost finished tomorrowland before the 2pm parade. In fact we had enough time to slowly move to frontierland. I followed the advice to search a good viewing spot near peco bill´s. That (again) turned out to be perfect. We found a perfect spot half an hour before the parade starts. So DW&DS blocked that spot while DD & me got “something” to eat. That was not that easy on the dining plan to be honest, but we got a delicious lobster roll from Columbia Harbour House and some sides as snacks. The goal was to bridge the time until the dinner.
Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
The parade is pure disney magic and a must-see. I would not like to watch it from third row, but a front row view makes it pure joy to watch. A lot of photo opportunities as well:
FP+ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Second mountain that day; signature ride. Longer than expected and truly an must-do family ride everyone will love.
FP+ Splash Mountain
Third and last mountain. Much longer than expected.
As mentioned before it was hot – very hot.
What is better for refreshment? Right; Nothing!!! Pure fun.
Look at my silly cooling band. I almost lost it one second after the photo was taken.
In addition, I was very surprised about the beautiful theming of this ride.
Maybe it is because the movie “Song of the South” is totally unknown here in Germany.
I checked the MDE App for 4th FP+ directly, but most interesting things were gone for the next hour.
So we scheduled for the early evening after dinner. I loved to go to the Haunted Mansion, my chicken-scary family preferred Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin and wanted to meet Buzz after that. Ok with me – single rider for almost an hour.
Pirates of the Caribbean
This was one of the rides we reschedule. We still had a lot of time until dinner. So we actually waited almost 40 min for that. Little to long for that ride, but ok in the end.
I surely liked the several Jack Sparrows, because they look very much like Johnny Depp.
After that we tried to get into Crystal Palace a little bit earlier, but it was still to early.
So we had enough time for…
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
“Just” a copy of Dumbo. If you have to choose one, I would ride dumbo. But the ride is fun for the whole family as well. Unfortunately we missed getting the autograph from aladdin and jasmin.
The Crystal Palace
Copy and paste here. Tasty food, perfect character interaction, perfect use of TS credits & a really nice break from touring. We would go there again, any time. even my worry about the early time was unjustified. If you start that early, you will be hungry at 05:05pm.
After that fabulous meal, we split for our 4th FP+.
On my way to the mansion I saw, that Mickey’s PhilharMagic was just about to start, so I took my chances. My DW just told me, that she is not interested in another 3D-Movie; but I was looking forward to see it anyway.
The show were as good as I hoped and I was very glad to see it. In my opinion maybe the best 3D show in wdw. At least, what I saw. Nice effect with the growing screen…
4. FP+ Haunted House
Pure cheesy ghost fun. There is al lot to see. You are not able to experience every detail after just one ride. And I learned to love every photo pass area. The one at the exit of this ride especially.
Perfect for a 4th FP+ (it was an expert tip within my “help needed” thread).
4. FP+ Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Weak compared to Toy Story Mania! but still fun. In any case, I was not very disappointed to miss it.
My DS loved it of course and the timing to meet the rest of the party again could not be better.
The rest of the family even had time to (finally) meet buzz.
My girls needed a refreshment from Starbucks, so we went to main street.
My plan was to see the jungle cruise before the fireworks, but my DS14 convinced me to look for a good viewing space.
A lot of people started to gather around main street. Although we had to wait almost an hour, it was the best idea of the whole day. It was absolutely worth it.
Happily Ever After
I can not say it often enough what a must-see this show is. It is simply:
A M A Z I N G !!!
Best fireworks show I saw this far, ever!!! And I even liked the projections more than the fireworks.
All hand in hand with the emotional disney music. Just wonderful and nothing compared with seeing it from poly beach. My DD14 in fact cried, so emotionally moved she was!
I rather enjoyed the show, than try to take pictures. I hope it is ok to use one stock photo instead.
DON’T MISS IT – it was not only a highlight at wdw – it was one of THE highlights the whole vacation.
After that we took the ferry to the parking lot and went exhausted but happy back to PoP.
I really can’t describe how wonderful EVERYTHING goes that day.
….to be continued….